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Night trains within France
lbj's profile picture
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I’ll be studying abroad in Paris next fall and have been researching various weekend trips through SNCF. For my travels to the South, the option of traveling by night train has been showing up quite a bit. Now, most of these trips are 3-4 hours by TGV during the day, but by night train, they’re 7-9. On the plus side, I’d save the cost of a night at a hotel or hostel, but are these the same as normal night trains? I mean, it takes so much longer than a normal train, do these stop often? Would I even be able to sleep if we’re stopping every hour or so? I’d appreciate input from anyone who has used these trains or knows how they work!

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Now, most of these trips are 3-4 hours by TGV during the day, but by night train, they’re 7-9.
Overnight trains are specifically scheduled to give you about 8 hours of sleep. They generally don’t stop very often, but you will probably spend lots of time on a stopped train to accommodate the longer schedule and because freight traffic is scheduled for the midnight to 6:00 AM hours.

Sometimes you don’t get a lot of sleep on an overnight train, so for a weekend trip where a day train takes 3 or 4 hours, I’d either take day trains or arrange it so you only take one overnight train. Best for this would be to take a late afternoon or evening (not overnight) train out and an overnight train coming back.

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I have been living in France since quite some time now and have never taken a day train accept a TGV once..

the night train is cheaper and cool.. Wink

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